Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is business justification going from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010


I got perfect response to previous post from Mark Arnold whom I respect *Tons* here is the link to his article

With all respect here is my response and my vision for near future, the cost saving ( exchange 2010) and even better & improved positive mail experience with reasons I will be bringing up one more time, I believe these reasons will make the difference.


Mark , I enjoy your blogs and have respect to your knowledge you are one of most respected source in my personal opinion when it comes to Exchange (-:

I never said SAN will disappear to be clear I said it will be off the Exchange plate. My logic and experience is telling me *huge savings"* and here are reasons I am listing why?

  • Having said the SAN is off the Exchange plate to me is perfectly right statement .Configuring Exchange with DAS is much cheaper and I am sure you won’t argue about it. The argument was considerations IOPS which is true, but I remember least another 50 percent I/O decrease compare the Exchange 2007 is achieved with Exchange 2010, due to major schema changes on mailbox tables. ( still need testing I totally agree), MS is so sure they don't even care about RAID configuration basically they say use JBOD exchange 2010 will run on it, to be we don't have to worry about the special RAID configuration separation logs from Databases using RAID 1, RAID 10 and so forth. Would it be better if we still go for RAID configuration provides fast read and write, I would think yes but, I have to underlined , since the application is much lighter most off the operations done within the memory not on the HD and therefore much far less I/O fear is my understanding and this is why MS says recommended mailbox size what ever the needs for business, 20 gig 30 gig , Exchange 2010 does care anymore.
  • We have been using and working with NETAPP as SAN for many of our clients and have had only *Positive* it rocks , our only experience is positive to be honest, never failed us even once over years. This includes DR (snap managers) and SMBR single mailbox recovery made my life , easy over years and lead us to success in many cases. I have again nothing but positive experience so far. Good thing in life comes with cost (-: and this is true in this example.
  • The dependency of SAN for exchange so far is critical for us, because many of our client’s demands high availability and again with NetAPP this is so easy to achieve. (or any other major SAN provider has similar offerings) , remember additional licensing for these capabilities contributes the cost $$$$.
  • Now I will tell you, the SAN spindals Exchange servers use are SCSI not SATA due to performance considerations & fears as you would imagine related to SLA’s most of the time, the cost of these drives ,plus, support is very expensive most of the time, and also other futures I have listed to make Exchange redundant required additional licensing and cost $$$. Some of my clients would love to offload these SCSI drives and use them for SQL servers and other application would save them $$$ right of the bat.
  • Now the statement “Exchange is off the SAN plate “ is going to be correct, since DAG provides redundancy I can configure Exchange servers with DAS not SAN and here is my first saving and I know this is going to be *Huge*


  • Second, I might be using SAS drives not SCSI for the DAS shelves and I know the saving is going to be *Huge*
  • I don’t have to purchase no more any third party utility to provide me redundancy and I don’t have to worry about performance as much as I worried before and I don’t need SAN engineer to work with me to curve the LUNS and maintain the SAN for me, because DAS comes with mush simpler software in my opinion and much easy to manage and Exchange administrator can and will do everything SAN engineer has done, and this is to me another *Saving*
  • I don’t have to pay money for third party to do the archiving for me because Exchange 2010 does it out the box and I don’t have to keep or dedicate SAN for archived mail for exchange, I will simply keep them in DAS and here is another saving for me and all these third-party software cost, licensing, implementation, maintenance no longer needed and this is another *Saving* for me (-:

When I write the article I was being honest and letting everyone know what I see as my vision. Exchange 2010 is not a simple upgrade but to me it is the greatest mail application has ever existed and reasons I listed above will make Exchange off the SAN.

I remember when we asked for business justification the answer we got from MS simple and effective,

We ask for one business justification MS gave us tree of them (-:, I am sure you will remember (-:

  • Cost
  • Cost
  • Cost

when I deploy exchange 2010 with DAS (-:, I promise to come back and update this article and mention about performance , user experience and capacity, and cost savings if there will be any (-: and I do know numbers will be much lower ( my vision) with much & far better messaging experience for large environments, including BES implementation, If I am wrong I promise to admit as well (-:

Warm regards,

oz Casey Dedeal,

MVP (Exchange)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +

Http://smtp25.blogspot.com (Blog)

Http://telnet25.spaces.live.com (Blog)

Http://telnet25.wordpress.com (Blog


Mark Arnold said...

Excellent stuff.
In line with my other post we’re going to love Exchange 2010 deployments.
>For those organizations that are sufficiently large (starts ~50 or so users) where a centralized backup, recovery and data management solution is necessary the Exchange 2010 can now be used as a slot-in product rather than the centerpiece that all other applications were too afraid to dance around.
>The archiving mailbox is going to rock. One thing that NetApp and the other storage vendors suffer from is memory pressure inside the controllers. NetApp can typically put ~50/60k users on a FAS3170C with PAM1, more with PAM2. But, if the archive component makes a 10GB mailbox look like a 100MB mailbox then the number of users hosted on a controller is going to leap. That’s not going to be of interest to anyone with less than 100,000 mailboxes and frankly, at that point, the use of DAS gets pretty uncompetitive (remember that Microsoft are the first to admit that their solutions are Showcase rather than Best Practice).
>Exchange 2010 on NetApp will be on SATA and there will probably be a PAM2 card attached somewhere. That makes the likelihood that even more users will get hosted on the storage platform which means that the storage will get used far more efficiently. One thing that everyone suffers from is capacity utilization. In the old days (yeah, a whole two years ago!) you could get 144GB disks. You could get all the IOPS you needed from a given number of 144GB disks and because the disks weren’t huge you weren’t wasting terabytes of space to meet spindle count. Spindle count applies to everything; file shares, SQL, Exchange and applies to SAN, DAS or NAS – EQUALLY. These days you have to provide the same number of spindles (allowing for 10k or 15k disk speed improvements obviously) but there is a ton of space you can’t use. 144GB disks are now like rocking horse sh1t, 300GB are going the same way. 450GB disks are the norm. For NetApp this is great because we can give you ‘free’ space for transaction logs and equally ‘free’ space for SnapShot retention without performance degradation. Although there comes a point where EMC are right when they say “Well, exactly how many snaps do you really need FFS?”
>NetApp, EMC and Dell all have challenges ahead to evangelize that sticking stores on disk is only a fraction of the story. Back it up? Well, use multiple copies of the DAG or use Snap*? Could do either way, and indeed will.
>If you’re a NetApp house you, as the Exchange guy, carve your own LUNs up. Exchange 2010 will actually make that process easier as you will see when the Best Practice guide comes out.
>Exchange 2010 will hit our relationship with SQL and Enterprise Vault. I haven’t seen where they’re going with that yet. It’s funny though; Exchange is going to negatively impact SQL sales. I want to be a fly on the wall for that conversation when it happens!
Great article.

Anonymous said...

OCD, You got this one dead on. I have deployed two large Exchange 2007 environments both on DAS (using CCR) and they have been great. Managing them day-to-day is easier than it was managing the same size deployments with SAN. Prior to that I had worked on Netapp and EMC SAN with Exchange 2003. Using CCR and DAS we cut our hardware costs by more than 50% vs similar SAN deployments of those sizes. With CCR, and now DAG, you have so many options out there to build a highly available Exchange environment without having to use SAN. I have nothing against SAN and I miss some of the functional add-ins (you named a few) but I can't justify the cost anymore. In my business if mailboxes are not accessible I am paying my customers. Switching everything to DAS was not an easy thing to do. It was like Linus giving up his blanket. I am now getting ready to start my first Exchange 2010 rollout to migrate some 03 and 07 environments to that must hold 100K+ mailbox, SAN will not even be on the table. If performance testing is close to the reported numbers I might be able to drop 10% to 15% (maybe greater) off my current costs my switching to larger, slower disks. I am still not sure about getting rid of RAID, but it sure is tempting. Keep up the good work

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